Advice and experiences with Milking Machines-What do you use?

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by Rob Gauthier, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Rob Gauthier

    Rob Gauthier New Member

    1
    Jul 28, 2017
    so we are ready to take the next step in milking machine technology. Current milking 3 goats (2-Saanen and a Nigerian) with school starting soon we are looking to speed up our morning routine a bit from using our current hand and pump.
    Simply pulse? Surge? Teat cup size? Pulsator? Vacuum Pump? Can without pump? And my personal favorite "The Claw"! What the heck does it all mean and how can I speed up our routine and maybe make it a bit easier for our goats too.
    It's EXTREMELY CONFUSING
    We may add a goat or two next year so want to get the right setup for possible two at a time and a set-up that can handle our Northern NH climate.

    So what do you use and what advice can you give?
    Thanks a ton in advance!!
     
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  2. capracreek

    capracreek Well-Known Member

    471
    Apr 5, 2016
    Missouri
    For one or two goats I use the Dansha hand held milking machine and love it. I always finish up with hand milking to completely empty the udder. https://www.danshafarms.com/product/the-off-grid-milk-machine/ I think if i were milking more I would want to be able to hook up more than one goat but I have never tried any other milking machine. I like the personal interaction with my goats though and I am retired so that helps!!!
     
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  3. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Perhaps you have explained this elsewhere, and I missed it. You have so few goats, and handmilking is faster than pumps, and you are finishing up by handmilking any way. Why not hand milk and continue learning about milking systems?

    This feels rushed, and you are confused, and this is a recipe for a wrong-for-you-decision. Handmilking is free, it is fast, and it works anywhere, anytime.

    So, for recommendations. I have a Dansha Suction milker, which I do not like, and will sell to you. I got larger and smaller teat cups. Again, I don't like it, and you'll have to finish by handmilking anyway.

    I currently use (sometimes, when my arthritis is a problem) a suction type that I got on CL. He'll ship, he'll personalize to your needs, I like it. I'll find you the advert if you want. You'll need to finish by handmilking. It is not the best in the world, but I think it is the best in the price range.

    Simple Pulse and Viot are fairly inexpensive pulse systems. If you can, I'd go ahead and start with pulse.
     
  4. capracreek

    capracreek Well-Known Member

    471
    Apr 5, 2016
    Missouri
    I like the simplicity of the Dansha milker and when I started I had not milked any thing in too many years to count. I find the Dansha battery operated milker much faster than hand milking as I can do both sides at the same time. I always finish up with hand milking just to make sure I got the udder emptied. The Dansha also assures me of clean sterile milk. The little bit I hand milk I usually throw out rather than take the time to strain it. No matter how hard I work at it they always seems to get some dirt or hairs in the milk. I guess I have copped out for a little modernization.
     
  5. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Capra, the Dansha is old enough, and popular enough, that is has to have a lot of people like you to support it. That has to mean a lot.

    The literature for all the suction machines say that we need to finish by hand milking, and I do when I use mine.

    But I'm curious about something. You say, " I find the Dansha battery operated milker much faster than hand milking as I can do both sides at the same time."

    Do you not hand milk both sides at the same time? I know some people do not. My husband has nerve damage in one hand from his recent surgery and can only use one hand. But most people do use both hands I think?

    I'll gladly pass along my Dansha to the OP if that would please them. It suits many people. But not me.
     
  6. bamaherd

    bamaherd Active Member

    298
    Jun 14, 2017
    Alabama
    https://www.danshafarms.com/product/the-off-grid-milk-machine/

    I’m interested in the above milker, which I believe it’s the same thing you use.

    We are currently using a homemade milker which consists of a Food Saver vacuum pump, syringes as teat cups, and food grade tubing. It works very well but it has been brought to my attention (by someone who may or may not know what they are talking about) that using such a pump (non pulsating) can rupture our goat’s teats. What are your thoughts on this?

    Here is a link to the vacuum pump we use:

    https://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-FSFRSH0051-FreshSaver-Handheld-Sealing/dp/B002FWIVCA

    Dansha Farms sold the exact setup we use a couple of years ago, but they no longer have it on their website.
     
  7. bamaherd

    bamaherd Active Member

    298
    Jun 14, 2017
    Alabama
    I can’t figure out how to attach the thread...but there’s a thread on here called Homemade Milking Machine. That’s the unit we use and you’ll notice the video is Dansha Farms. I’m very worried it could damage our girls teats.
     
  8. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    It can, without careful use and good judgement. Be certain the teat cups are not too large. Get the milk flowing well before attaching the teat cups. Only pump from time to time to keep the suction (too many just keep pumping even after the milk is flowing) When the flow stops, stop the suction and finish by hand. Yes, that means even if the other side is still flowing. Or use stops on the tubing so you can keep suction on one teat and stop it on the other. Dansha does not supply those. I put them on myself. Then said to heck with it and got a better milker. One last thing, don't just pull the teat cups off Break the suction first by pressing the side of the teat and udder join.

    These will go a long way to protecting your girls' bubbies.
     
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  9. Kath G.

    Kath G. Well-Known Member

    623
    Jul 13, 2017
    Wisconsin
    One more component that I'd want to see on any milking machine, homemade or not, is a vacuum gauge. Maybe you pros out there are better at gauging pressure by sight or something, but I'm a bit paranoid of damaging my girls' teats... to be honest, for my herd, their udders are not quite everything but close, lol!
     
  10. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

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  11. bamaherd

    bamaherd Active Member

    298
    Jun 14, 2017
    Alabama
    Wonderful information! Thanks a bunch!!
     
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  12. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

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  13. bamaherd

    bamaherd Active Member

    298
    Jun 14, 2017
    Alabama
    mariarose likes this.
  14. I started out with that one. It is the Fresh Saver little food vacuum pump set up with Henry Milker style jar. It's not a very powerful pump and I could barely get through two Nigerian Dwarfs on a charge. The rechargeable battery stopped accepting a charge after only one season and it is not designed to be easily replaced. I was able to break the glued seal and replace battery, but by then I was better at hand milking and moving on to milking more goats. Glad it only cost me less than$50 in parts to build myself. I would not recommend. I haven't seen those pumps in the store lately, so maybe that's why they no longer have. It never did any teat damage, but I was careful to stop pumping when flow started. There's no way it would do two at a time IMO.

    I like enclosed systems to keep my milk clean. You do need to hand strip more when using non -pulsating system. I have also heard that you could use for years with no problem and then have the teat start leaking due to weakened opening (what is the official name for that?).

    I now use a system built similar to the Simple Pulse and love it. I still hand check that everyone is stripped and it is definitely more efficient than a non-pulsating system. I modified so that can milk into half or one gallon jars and tubing and jars come up to kitchen sink for cleaning rather than using buckets of cleaning solution. I would recommend the Simple Pulse or build one like it.

    I prefer to use my Henry Milker style if I need portability and milking a lot. I have cubical tunnel nerve disorder, so doing all by hand is not an option.
     
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  15. mariarose

    mariarose Well-Known Member

    Did you build it yourself? If not, would you share who built it? If so, would you build for other people?
     
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  16. I have built all my milking machines by myself. It definitely took hours of researching online and looking at others photos. The Freshsaver set up was super simple, though. I just used a 1/8" barb connected to a 1/4" barb. The 1/8" side fit perfectly and tightly into the hole of the Freshsaver with no glue or anything. It never fell out. I used some teflon tape on the connection to keep it air tight. Then just use tubing to connect the 1/4" side to your jar lid. I did make several of my own jar lids, but the easiest thing to do is to order a Henry Milker lid that will fit onto wide-mouth mason jars. The tubing goes from this pump to one connector on the lid. Use more tubing and 60 cc syringe(s) attached to the second lid port. Easiest to learn with only one teat cup. Then can always add a y-barb to do both teats at once. Here are some photos. 20171213_175405.jpg 20171213_175405.jpg 20171213_175421.jpg 20171213_175428.jpg
     
  17. Oh, the 60 cc syringes worked on my Nigerian Dwarves as well as on a full size lamancha-saanen-alpine mix. That way I didn't have to switch cup size. Your mileage may vary depending on teat size of Nigerians...some are tiny.
     
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  18. The Simple Pulse style one took longer to build and I will need to get around to taking photographs one of these days. It's also a lot more expensive due to full inflations, pulsator, etc. I have had good luck with these parts from aliexpress.com at extremely reasonable prices ($25 pulsator, $40 inflations with shells and claws, $20 quarter milker). After the first year, I dropped the pulsator on concrete floor and broke it, but at that price was no biggie to get another one that has been going strong for more than a year. You can open them and service, but it wasn't worth taking the time even. Built whole milker for under $400, but $250 of that was a nice 8 cfm pump that can easily handle two at a time. I don't build them for others due to lack of time, but will gladly give advice if you have specific questions.
     
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  19. bamaherd

    bamaherd Active Member

    298
    Jun 14, 2017
    Alabama
    Very informative! Thank you
     
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  20. bamaherd

    bamaherd Active Member

    298
    Jun 14, 2017
    Alabama

    We looked up Simple Pulse and love it!! We plan to order the CFM system. They are very reasonably priced also. We will only be milking 1-2 goats at a time so this is perfect for us!

    https://simplepulse.com/store/3-cfm-single-system/
     
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